Mitt Romney, fresh from a victory in the Iowa straw poll, says now he was wrong to misrepresent his position on abortion as a candidate and governor of Massachusetts.
In other words, he admits he lied – then.
But, what if he wasn’t lying back then? What if he merely believes in situational ethics? What if, like so many other politicians, he will merely say or do whatever is expedient to achieve political victory and power?
These are questions likely Republican voters should be asking themselves now – not when Romney is accepting the GOP nomination for the presidency.
In a Fox News interview Sunday, he wasn’t exactly persuasive in insisting he has always been pro-life.
“I never called myself pro-choice,” he told Chris Wallace. “I never allowed myself to use the word ‘pro-choice,’ because I didn’t feel I was pro-choice. I would protect the law, I said, as it was, but I wasn’t pro-choice.”
Romney pleads now that his position then should be understood and appreciated because Ronald Reagan, too, was once pro-choice.
But, to put it mildly, Romney didn’t sound a bit like Reagan in explaining his flip-flops. He sounded more like Bill Clinton explaining that it depended on the definition of the word “is.”
He’s been saying things like this lately – and many Republican voters are falling for it.
“My greatest mistake was when I first ran for office being deeply opposed to abortion but saying I’d support the current law, which was pro-choice and effectively a pro-choice position,” he said last week. “That was just wrong.”
Yes, it is wrong to lie. But if you would lie once, why wouldn’t you lie again? Which Mitt Romney are we supposed to believe?
Here’s another quote from last week: “I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice.”
And another from last May: “I was effectively pro-choice at that time.”
I’ve been tough on Romney, and some people have suggested I’m just not being fair. After all, they say, don’t we want converts on our side? Don’t we like it when people who were formerly pro-abortion come over to the side of life?
Yes, I like it. But, in 2007, there is hardly a shortage of people who not only say they are pro-life, but can actually back it up with deeds. Is Romney one? Absolutely not.
Here’s what Romney said he believed about abortion from 1994 through 2002: “So when asked will I preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, I make an unequivocal answer: yes.”
Here’s another example: “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, and have devoted and am dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. … I’m not going to make any changes that would make it more difficult for a woman to make that choice herself. …A woman should have the right to make her own choice as to whether or not to have an abortion…I have held that view consistently. … I do not take the position of a pro-life candidate. I’m in favor of preserving and protecting a woman’s right to choose.”
And that’s how he governed throughout his term in office. He was true to his word, even though now he says he was lying.
By the way, Romney’s pro-abortion political career didn’t just begin in 2002. It was the same dating back to his 1994 bid to become a U.S. senator. Here’s what he said in a debate that year: “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. … I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice.”
So which Romney do you believe?
Which one do you like?
As for me, I don’t like either one of them.